Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lone Spring Kitten

Reeces had a spring litter of kittens in early March.
She had two - a gray and a tiny calico that didn't make it.

We didn't see much of the little gray kitten the first month.  Reeces kept it near the back shed mostly.
I would see it just for a little bit usually in the early evenings.

It looks so much like little Leche from last spring.
It's been coming out in the yard a little more and more
and doing a lot of playing with Chiclet and Chupa.

The kids named it "Luttrell" since it was the lone survivor this spring.

And this weekend Reeces let it start coming on the back porch.
Luttrell loves cardbord boxes as all the cats do. :-)

Red Potatoes from the Garden

We've been digging up potatoes as we need them and boy are they good!

Bring them in, cook them up.
From ground to plate in less than 30 minutes.
It just doesn't get any fresher than that!  Yum!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lots of good news! :-)

Good news on Donald -

Earlier in the week we were having to put her in the water during the day and then move her into the pet porter at night.  If she tried to walk anywhere she just ran into things.  It was so sad.  And she wasn't eating much.  But, after just a few days of healing, her right eye, (as you can see in this picture taken yesterday) already is looking so much better.  Her left eye is still scabbed over, but it looks to be healing really well, too.

I was really encouraged Friday evening when she went into the pet porter at dusk all by herself.  She was also doing good yesterday, and today she was swimming, eating, walking around and QUACKING.  It was so good to hear that sound again!  On Tuesday Mr. H. had really wanted to put her down, but I ask him to wait.  I am so glad that we did.  She just needed a little time!  She is definitely on the mend. :-)

Good news from the kitchen -

I am on the mend, too, and today marks the six week point for my recovery.  I have a doctor appointment this week and should find out how much longer I'll be wearing my lovely neck brace. ;-) Anywhere from 2 to 6 more weeks.

During this recovery time one of the hardest things for me has been not being able to cook for my family.  This should not come as a surprise to anyone that knows me or has been reading here very long. ;-)  The first few weeks after the accident, I really couldn't do anything at all, cooking or otherwise.  Our church family brought several meals to us.  Mr. H. made some simple meals. My school family blessed me with several restaurant gift cards.  And we had simple sandwiches or cereal for supper some evenings.

Then as I started to get better, I made a meal or two.  I remember being so proud of the first meal I made all by myself a few weeks ago - some simple pasta with jar sauce and frozen garlic bread.  I felt like I'd climbed Mt. Everest! ;-)  My mexican frito salad was on the menu last week.  Mr. H. browned the ground beef and I did everything else.  Again, so proud! ;-)  

As Easter approached I really, really wanted to make some or our traditional foods in a simplified way using a little help from kraft, pillsbury and marie callender! ;-)

We had some ham slices cooked in the crockpot,
green bean casserole,
mashed potatoes (the only truly homemade from scratch thing!),
shells and cheese,
crescent rolls,
and deviled eggs (well those were homemade, too, actually really homemade - straight from the backyard, haha!)

The meal went over very well!  My son ate two huge plate fulls!

Cadbury eggs and individual coconut cream pies and carrot cakes from the frozen food aisle rounded out the meal! 

And, of course, the best news -

"Be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world." 
John 16:33 

Our's was a happy and very memorable Easter Sunday.
I hope your's was, too!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Catching Up! :-)

I must apologize over my lack of posting during the last few weeks.  My family and I were actually in a car accident five weeks ago and I sustained some injuries.  I am on the mend now and I have definitely been learning some lessons in patience and thankfulness.  Our life has been moving at a slower pace, and I'm not able to do all I'd like to do, but there is still life going on around me and thankfully I'm still able to capture it with my camera and share it with you! :-)

An Orchid

I've never had an orchid before!

A friend from high school came to visit me last month after the accident 
and brought this beautiful one to me.

I've really enjoyed it and I've watched several new buds bloom.

Update on the Ducks

If you remember my daughter got Donald and Daffy, the little mallard duckings, back in October.

She raised them in a pen until they were old enough to fly and then we let them free range with the chickens.  Just a few weeks after their first "Ducks Day Out", Daffy flew off and never returned.
But, Donald, has hung around.

We've decided he thinks he's a chicken. ;-)
 They've all gotten along just fine for months.
He particularly likes to follow Taylor Swift, my Austrolorpe, around.
We hardly ever see one of them without the other.

But then, two things happened this week.
One was so neat and one was so very sad.

Mr. H. came in a few days ago and said, "You don't have a chicken right now that lays white eggs, do you?"  I said, "No, what are those?"

You guessed it!  Duck eggs!  Donald isn't a boy after all. ;-)

Unfortunately, also this week (and I'm sure it's NOT a coincidence)
right after Donald (Daisy? haha) started laying eggs
the chickens started to peck at her.

Mr. H. found her yesterday morning huddled against the back of our house 
seemingly lost and disoriented.

Her eyes had been pecked out so badly that we couldn't even really see them. :-(

Mr. H. applied some ointment to them and we put her in her little wading pool.

She seemed to be doing okay.

And the chickens were minding there own business.

But then, this morning, Mr. H. caught Carrie Underwood, the Americauna,
pecking at the poor duck's eyes again so he moved her, the old little pet porter that she has been laying her eggs in and her wading pool into our front yard fenced in area so the chickens can't get to her.

We are hoping she will recover.
We're just going to keep a close watch on her and give her the best care we can.

Of course Miss Daisy is very concerned and I have to almost drag her back inside after she goes out in the front to potty. :-)

It's always something around here! ;-)

Photography Contest

Last summer I entered a photo contest in The Old Farmer's Almanac. 
In August I found out that my picture had been selected as one of the top five,
but I never heard anything else and had pretty much forgotten all about it.

Then in March of this year I got an e-mail from The Old Farmer's Almanac letting me me know that I had won first prize!  A few days later I received The All Seasons Garden Guide, turned to page 102 and saw my picture of Loretta!  How cool?

I also received a garden hod for winning first prize. :-)

Signs of Spring

Early Spring Garden

Our potato plants are looking good and I'm hoping we'll have a good harvest in a few more weeks.

The onion tops are starting to fall over,
so I know they're almost ready.

I think I'll give them until the first of May 
and then I'll harvest and cure them.
I only planted one set this year and really wish I'd planted more.

We've had lots of lettuce!

And the radishes did really well.  
Again, I wish I'd planted more!

We haven't put any of our summer plants in the ground yet, but we'll get around to it.
I'm hoping to be able to garden again in just a few more weeks. :-)

Because you know...
"In springtime, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." :-)

Merle Wins Big

Spring time means stock show time around here and this year my daughter showed her Duroc Merle.

He started out back in November not much bigger than his feeding trough.

But he grew and grew.

At weigh in he was 238 pounds and looking really good.

We had high hopes for him,
but you never know what the competition will be like
or what the judge will think.

Resting up before the show.

And there they go!

Look at that show girl!  Keepin' one eye on the judge. :-)

Merle did really well in the ring, too. 

And that right there is the smile of getting penned!  She's in the top three!

Merle placed second and we were all so happy!

Even little bro was proud.

Momma and Daddy were pretty excited, too!

Two days later was the premium auction and time to get all cleaned up and ready again.

And Merle did great!  He earned the big bucks for my daughter.

A lot of hard work paid off.

A big hug to say good bye.
And always a few tears.

Merle was a good pig.